Saturday, December 29, 2012

On the brink of 30

Oh, if only that were my age! Well, I'm still pretty darn grateful to be on the brink of 30 weeks in this pregnancy. I'm sorry to bore you with this again, but it still is completely unreal (and I say that as gummy elbows me in the ribs).

I am surviving the Holidays. It is not my favorite time of year. This year, I decided that being a good daughter was more important than being true to what I really want. So I traveled to Montreal and played the good daughter part for far too many days. Despite it driving me almost completely bananas (my current visit to my in-laws is actually completing the process), I'm still glad I went. There were important moments to take part in. Chats about life and death. I still always feel peripheral in my family (in my life, really - which is another post), but there is value to being there, even in the periphery.

The family, both on my mother's and my father's side, is convinced I am carrying a baby boy. The best explanation was from my darling grandmother who explained that my tummy wasn't pointy, but more round and even, which clearly signaled a boy. I find it all amusing. I don't have a real sense about whether gummy is a girl or a boy. But I've got a requisition for a growth scan that might shed light on the matter.

I saw my OB on Friday, which is truly always a pleasure. Dr. Smiley is like a brook in spring. Despite the Christmas eating, I had gained only 3lbs since the last appointment. She asked about that, and my best explanation was a stomach bug combined with my licensing exam, followed by a cold. One cannot be earnest in their effort to gain weight in those circumstances. And Christmas brought some good eating, but meals were often consumed with a dose of irritation, since most of them were with my mother. And irritation can fill you up. Oh, to be more tolerant of my poor mother.

My blood pressure was great, again. I was thinking it would be awful, since I was running on a few hours of sleep (we left Montreal in a record breaking snow storm, which meant that our train was delayed by 5 hours. We got home at 4:30am, to the very lonely and relieved Chicken). I also just started having the ankle swelling everyone warns you about. My socks leave troughs of significant proportions on my lower legs, which is fascinatingly gross.

I was happily surprised to learn that I am nowhere near having gestational diabetes. Woohooo! The nurse said I wasn't even flirting with the borderline range. My iron, B12, etc. were all good.

Dr. Smiley did note that I was measuring ahead in terms of fundal height. Knowing who she is dealing with, she told me twice not to worry about it. I've avoided asking Dr. Google about it, and I will continue to tell myself that baby gummy is just long. From her palpation, she could also tell that gummy is breach right now. It clarified that what I have been feeling at the top of my abdomen are in fact elbow pokes and wee head butts.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for the Holidays, I feel thankful. I rub my belly and think that if gummy arrives safe and sound, I will be a mother. I am so lucky. So very lucky. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Infertility: yours and mine

Third attempt at this post. Did you know T3 gives you writer's block. Apparently, it does.

I have regular lunch dates with some very close friends. I love them to bits. We talk about everything: work, life, good wines, narcissistic parents. You know, the gamut. They have been very supportive to me through IF hell. One had a child in the last years. One actively started trying. I was always apart because of IF, but they never let me feel that in their company. These are pearls, people.

By early last spring, our lunch conversations migrated to infertility, and not just when it was my turn to speak. Turns out they were both facing this scourge. The thing I wouldn't wish on my enemies was now afflicting my good friends. I stood dismayed at how we could all get taken by the wide-cast net of those nasty statistics. Could it not spare one of us?

I didn't have much experience with IRL infertile friends. I had one friend who struggled with IF. She moved away soon after getting pregnant, although we did support each other through at least a year of IF hell and I was very thankful for it. I have another friend with IF who started trying at 40 and was never successful. She is also very supportive. All my other IF friends are reading this blog right now.

My two close friends are in the thick of IF/Loss hell right now. That's about all I can write in an effort to protect their privacy, but they are in the kind of hell we have all experienced here. It breaks my heart into a million pieces to know that they are going through this, just like it breaks my heart when you go through this (most recently Adele - I'm so sorry, lovely woman).   

I'm not sure if there is more to say than I am sad. That it is unfair. That I don't understand why this even happens at all. I struggle with pop-ups of just-world beliefs* in my brain: it's not fair...but life is not fair.

I guess the other thing I can say about it is how entirely strange it is to be a pregnant infertile in the face of what my dear friends are going through. There was a time when I had to psych myself up a great deal before going to lunch with them because I was certain they would have pregnancy announcements. And now when I see them I feel sad that they have to look at my belly. I know they are happy for me. And yet, I can't help but perceive myself like my old infertile nonpregnant self would: a difficult reminder.

It is strange to negotiate the world as someone who is hypersensitized to infertility and someone who is pregnant at the same time. I even make assumptions about who might be infertile in my viscinity and try to avoid them if I see them and they don't know I'm pregnant yet. It happened at the gym the other morning. A woman I know showed up (I don't usually see her there in the mornings so I was surprised see her). I remember her telling me about a miscarriage within the last year, and I purposely avoided her. Why should she be subjected to me at this point, I thought.

I realize that I am not realistic in my quest to protect everyone around me and that I might, you know, have issues. But darn, it hurt so much to be surrounded by all the bellies all the time. I walk the halls at work and wonder who is suffering in silence (and let me tell you, there are plenty-a-pregnant-belly walking around at work right now).

You want to know if I'm feeling survivor's guilt. Maybe. But am I a survivor yet? That's the other side of the coin, the side where I'm not sure this is for real yet. Someone asked me the other day where I was thinking we would send gummy to school. I answered that we were still hoping gummy would be born. The person laughed. I was serious.

My beloved friends who are in IF hell worry about dragging me back into the world of IF with sharing their struggle and their pain. They would like this to be all unicorns and butterflies and kittens' whiskers for me (I'm paraphrasing: my friends have huge hearts but are not one ounce of corny). I'm not sure how out of the IF world I am, to be honest. I sure am not done dealing with my own feelings about the years of infertility and childlessness I faced. (But you know, I'm a licensed psychologist now so I should be done with that by next week). I can relate to my friends much more easily than say, to this couple we visited last week. They wanted to talk about their decision to only have one child when the world expects them to have two. I could appreciate their questionning process around the number of children they would have, and I could give my view on having been an only child myselt, but I was glad they never asked: 'what are you thinking about: one or more?' We're still working on being able to have one child. Still hoping and praying and holding our breath.

*the notion that people get what they deserve - which I try hard not to believe in too much because it's simply not how life works.

Friday, December 7, 2012

the updates keep being boring

It's been a bit of a roller coaster this week, the reason on which I will pin my absence of posts. But this morning, thanks to insomnia, I got up at 5am (after tossing and turning since 2am) and have some time to cough up a lengthy missive (yes, I think this is sleepless boot camp for the mother-to-be).

I got a stomach bug on Tuesday. Hum, stomach bugs and pregnancy are not a winning combo for more reasons that one. I was also trying to prepare for my oral licensing exam through the stomach bug situation. I will remember this week, mark my words. Probably mostly because I DID get my license! I can now practice my profession autonomously, which is a huge deal in my little world. I am thrilled.

I went to visit my OB last week. I continue to like her so much. She was once again very pleased with everything, and said so. It still feels a bit suspect to have everything be going well, but I'm trying to roll with it. She did send me for some blood work and the glucose tolerance test. I'm still concerned that I will fail my glucose test because of a family history of diabetes on both of my parents' sides. But let's wait for the facts to emerge, shall we. So far, no phone calls from the OB's office, although it's only been a week.

At the OB's, I looked at her while she was measuring my uterus and preparing the doppler for the symphony of the heartbeat, and asked "is there really going to be a baby?" She seemed to think so. "Well, there is something in there!" is what she said. It's still not entirely real, although the wiggling and kicking does help.

Oh, and I got a diaper bag. Received it in the mail this week. After much back and forthing, I chose this one. I'm sure gummy will approve (this is me being sarcastic about my own penchant for consumerism. Gummy for sure will not care). In a separate package, I received a whole whack of formula products. I'm not sure how that got to me, probably through signing up for one thing or another. It's nice to have though, in case my double A breasts don't deliver on their promise of milk.

So apparently, the third trimester is around the corner. I think there is nothing more to say after that. Except: !